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Russia says it won't offer asylum to Syria's Assad

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“It is something that we expect to take up virtually immediately with the Russian side,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

She suggested that Russia, which has vetoed two U.N. resolutions on Syria, had been “preoccupied” with its presidential election. In what appeared to be a coordinated message, British and French officials said much the same thing.

Putin has given no indication that the election victory will have any effect on Russia’s stance on intervention, according to the Post.

But the US still sees Russia as having the potential to play a critical part in ending the violence in Syria. That was evident in Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s comments yesterday as he discussed US options, reported by Russian news outlet RIA Novosti.

“There's no question in my mind that Russia could play a very significant role in putting pressure on Assad. They've got a port there; they have influence there; they have dealings there,” he said.

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